For 65 years, Columbia Basin College (CBC) had one basketball court. But in May 2022, everything changed with the opening of the brand new Student Recreation Center.
Scott Rogers has been the athletic director at CBC for 16 years, originally joining the campus as a coach 26 years ago. He said he never thought he would see this happen. “It feels like we’re living in a hotel,” said Rogers. “Everything’s new and perfect. The running joke is, ‘What time do we have to check out before the weekend?’ We’re very appreciative, and the facility is getting a lot of use.”
Inside the Space
The new 80,000-square-foot facility includes:
- A fitness center spread out over two floors
- Three gymnasiums
- Two multipurpose rooms
- An esports arena and much more.
Rogers said with the addition of multiple courts, they can divvy up court space among sports games, team practices and a space largely dedicated to student recreation use. “We’ve been remote for the better part of two years,” he added. “So getting our students back on campus and seeing them take advantage of the almost 12 hours a day it’s open is nice to see.”
The new Student Recreation Center is also gaining attention for its modern amenities. One of those is a virtual Hall of Fame. Rogers explained this is an idea the school had for many years after realizing space quickly disappears by displaying plaques and trophies. The new facility’s Hall of Fame boasts five 55-inch touchscreen, interactive displays that have a cable-connection.
Right across from the hall is a 36-foot glass wall on the east end of the performance court. The wall is almost entirely soundproof. Rogers added this has been a popular amenity due to the ability for parents to be in a soft-seating area outside the glass during summer camps. They can watch their children without the overwhelming noise of 100 kids in an enclosed space.
Additionally, the esports arena is located on the second floor of the facility. It has:
- 14 PC gaming stations.
- Five big screen TVs with a variety of gaming consoles.
- Custom LED lighting to create a unique experience for gamers.
The arena is primarily used by the CBC esports team, but it’s also open for recreational use during available times.
EXTRA CREDIT: Find more on the realm of esports here.
Perhaps one of the best amenities about the new Student Recreation Center is the fact it came about through student funds. Rogers shared about the discussions he had with students questioning why they should vote in favor since they won’t be on campus once it’s built.
“I explained, ‘The computer lab and the hub renovation that you enjoy, somebody 15 years ago had the foresight to say those would have been really neat when I was a student here, I would vote for that,’” said Rogers. “This is their legacy. Students will come back for alumni events — and it’s a community center — so they’ll have access to it as well. Luckily, the students saw the benefit of having the new center. It’s a game changer for us all the way around.”
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